Most women have two types of bras: everyday use bras and sports bras. No matter what type of bras you wear, however, there are few things more uncomfortable than a bra that fits poorly. The key to being comfortable in your own skin, and feeling confident when you leave the house, is having a bra that fits correctly and comfortably; this can be achieved simply by knowing how to find a bra that fits.
Getting proper measurements is the best way to begin. Most lingerie and some department stores offer this service upon request. When you know your measurements, you can begin by looking for bras that most closely fit women of your general size.
Next, you should try on a variety of bras. Do not just choose one style of bra and then "go with it." Find a style that you think fits your personality and provides superior comfort. Under wires add to the support of the bra, while thicker padding adds inches. Take into account how you will wear the bra, and what kind of clothes you have to ensure that the bra will not cause discomfort when worn with other clothing.
When trying bras, lean forward from the waist and use the straps to pull the bra away from your breasts so that the breasts fall into the cups in a natural fashion. Make sure the band is snug, but that it does not dig into your flesh. This is the same rule for the straps. You want them snug for proper support, but you do not want them digging into your skin. Remember that bras stretch out over time. So, buy a bra that fits correctly when on the loosest clasp and with lengthened bra straps. Then as the bra stretches you can tighten straps and move to the tight clasps.
Oddly enough, it is a good idea to swing your arms, walk around, and jump in order to test support and comfort. These are all activities that you will be participating in while wearing the bra, and so it is important to ensure that you will be comfortable no matter what you are doing.
The first thing to do is to select the size that is closest to your proper size and then try the bra on. Sports bras often go over the head, but some also fasten in the back or the front. You should sense for comfort, making sure that the band and the straps are not digging into your skin. If you are rather large-breasted, you need to make sure your bra has adequate support without adding pressure to the shoulders.
Most of the comfort with a good-fitting sports bra has to do with construction and material. Make sure that all liners and metal parts of the bra have plush linings to prevent irritation from exposed metal or plastic pieces. Additionally, find out the fabric content. You want something with a lycra lining to wick sweat away from your skin, and also something that provides adequate support. A cotton/polyester/lycra blend is a good choice for bra materials because it will wick while being supportive (while straight cotton is supportive, it does not wick sweat away from the skin).
Finally, as with a regular bra, make sure that you jump around to understand movement. When one is a size D cup, a compression bra is a good idea, as it will help keep from causing discomfort. Women with full D cups and large should look into encapsulation bras to better contain the movement.
And, no matter what sort of bra you are looking for, there are a few general tips:
Try on all bras, as manufacturers have different sizes. You might be a 34C with one bra maker but only a 32B with another.
Allow your bras to air dry. This will keep them from shrinking in the dryer or having the padding shifted into odd lumps. You should also use a delicate cycle or lingerie bag when using a washing machine to wash your bras.
Buy several bras when you find one you like in order to avoid finding yourself out of luck if the style is discontinued.
Make sure that you can return the bra if there are problems, especially if you are purchasing the bra online.